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The Drew Baird: How I became the PCOS Mentor

The gym bro who says lifting weights saved his life explains how he became the PCOS Mentor, one of social media’s most trusted and respected experts on polycystic ovary syndrome and reveals how you can take back control of your health, fitness and fertility
Drew Baird
Drew Baird

Drew Baird is the PCOS Mentor, an online social media influencer and expert in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), offering lifestyle interventions and dietary advice to improve symptoms of the condition. He is a qualified personal trainer and founder of Health and Balance Vitamins. Follow him on Instagram. Visit handbvitamins.co.uk.

The PCOS Mentor: My passion is PCOS

Unfiltered sat down with Drew Baird, AKA The PCOS Mentor, to discover how a self-confessed gym bro become of social media’s most trusted and respected experts on Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.

This transcript has been taken from our video interview with The PCOS Mentor. It has been edited for clarity and brevity. You can watch the full video interview here.

Your account on Instagram is the PCOS Mentor but you don’t look how I expected you to look. What’s your background?

Yeah, it’s funny you say that because I hear that pretty much everyday! PCOS is a female hormone condition that roughly 15% of all females experience, and it creates a number of hormonal imbalances. We’re talking about things like high insulin, insulin resistance, high androgens, high cortisol. All of those things can disrupt the body when they’re chronically high or low. 

So most people talking about this are either doctors, women with PCOS, or dieticians. And I am none of those. I am not a doctor. I am not a dietician. I am a man. I’m also covered in tattoos. I call myself a former “gym bro” because I used to be really into the gym. I still go every single day.

So I come from a fitness background which I think it actually gives me a unique perspective on PCOS. And as long as people judge me on my content, my products, and not necessarily just on my looks or the fact that my man, I think I’m doing alright.

Like I said, I’m not a doctor. I’m not diagnosing people. I’m not medicating people. I’m not doing any of that stuff. What I love is the research. like to read studies. I like to listen to podcasts. And then I like to create content based on what I’m learning and that’s essentially how I became the PCOS Mentor. 

How did helping women manage their PCOS become your passion?

I always loved the gym growing up, especially in my late teens. I had terrible issues with social anxiety, no body confidence, no self esteem. So I saw the gym as a way that would save my life.

My life got really dark there in my late teens, and my entire life changed after getting into the gym.

I didn’t realise what I was trying to change was my mental health. I thought I had to change my physical health, but it just happened that as I changed my physical health, it also improved my mental health. So I fell in love with the gym because it changed my life, then got into personal training, which I loved. I loved being a personal trainer. I loved being in the gym everyday. I loved helping people on their journeys because their journeys were a mirror of my own journey.

So I was working as a personal trainer for a number of years. The majority of my clients were women and most of them were simply wanting to lose weight. Then in 2014 I started working with a client, just a lovely lady. She wanted to lose 40kg kilos, which is a sizeable amount.

Two months into working with her she comes into the gym one day crying. I think she’s maybe lost her job or having problems with her husband. But she says, “Drew, it’s been eight weeks and I’ve only lost one kilo.”

So I go through everything, sleep, diet, stress, any other exercise she’s been doing. She’s been doing absolutely everything I’ve asked of her, yet she’s not losing any weight.

And she happened to asked whether her PCOS could have something to do with.But me, being a gym bro thinking I knew everything said “No, of course not”, even though I’ve never heard of PCOS before.

But luckily I am a nerd and I love research and learning. I was already studying as much as I could about protein synthesis and muscle pain and carbohydrate metabolism. So that night I went home and started researching PCOS. And I very quickly learned that PCOS can impact the ease and your ability to lose weight. So I made a few changes based on what I learned and my client started losing weight.

At that time I was also trying to build my personal training business. I wasn’t on Instagram, we didn’t have TikTok, it was all Facebook. And my client said I was doing all these Facebook posts about fitness, why not starting posting about PCOS.

So I did a post and when I woke up the next morning and checked for comments the feedback was so different to anything I’d received before.

I had women emailing and messaging me that I’d never spoken to before, telling me how they’ve just been through their fourth miscarriage, or they’re having issues with their partner because they have no self-confidence and their partner hasn’t seen them naked for years. It was just different.

I started working with more clients with PCOS, and grew my online business with training programmes and meal plans, and that led to launching my own supplements for PCOS.

Listen to our full audio-only podcast interview with Drew Baird, the PCOS Mentor, on Spotify

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